Pastor Laurie Kidd
Bernie Edward Wagner was born January 13, 1924, to Maurice and Amelia (Skorepa) Wagner on the Wagner Family farm one mile northeast of Tyndall, South Dakota. Bernie attended rural school and graduated from Tyndall High School in 1941. Bernie did not go to service in World War II. Instead, Bernie stayed on the Wagner family farm to help farm with his Dad and brother Emil. Bernie’s oldest brother, Clarence, served in the United States Army during World War II. In one of Bernie’s letters to Clarence, he stated how it was so eerily to go uptown to Tyndall on a Saturday night with hardly any young guys left at home during those war years. Bernie continued to farm with Emil and his Dad until his Dad retired in the mid-fifties. Bernie then became the full time farmer of the Wagner Farm. Bernie & Email raised chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, beef cattle along with milk cows. They also had their two beloved work horses that they raised from babies until Queeny & King died of natural causes in the 1970’s.
Bernie was a devoted son to his parents. He took care of them until they passed. Bernie took his Dad’s death hard when Maurice Wagner passed suddenly on Easter Monday 1960. Bernie then inherited the farm from his Dad. He continued to farm full time until into the early 1990’s when he rented out the farm land. Bernie’s Mom passed late January of 1964. Bernie’s sister, Lorraine, the youngest in the family lived all her life on the farm until she passed in March of 1998. By that time Clarence and Emil had passed on, too.
Bernie, Emil, Lorraine had very minnie vacations during the summer months. They loved to drive around Southeaster South Dakota and into Nebraska to look at crops. They never missed Vertibres Kolache Days. They were devoted farmers all of their lives.
Bernie had several passions in his life. From the time Bernie was a little boy until his passing he was a true blue Yankees’ Fan. Bernie loved his baseball season. In the early 1970’s Bernie and several other people founded the Beer Can Club of America out of Sioux Falls SD. Bernie was a charter member number 5. Bernie had a huge collection of beer cans that filled the walls of his bedroom along with custom built shelves in the basement of his home. Bernie’s other pass was a ham radio operator. He spent his winter months enjoying talking to friends all over the United States, Australia, and other parts of the world. Bernie made some very good friends through those years until an ice storm took down his radio tower in the late 90’s which he never had repaired. Bernie was sent all kinds of treasurers from his Australian ham radio friends whom he truly treasured.
Bernie entered Majestic Bluffs in May 2005 when he couldn’t take care of himself anymore. His niece, Elaine Kvasnicka Soukup flew from Gilbert Arizona to arrange the sale of the farm’s personal possessions. It took Elsie & Jim Ozinger, Jim Magara and Elaine and two retired mechanics, Fritz and Rick 14 weeks to get the farm sale ready.
The Wagners from the time Dad Maurice Wagner bought the farm in 1919 nothing was ever sold or traded for new machines, pickups, cars all their adult life. All the equipment, etc. was in the buildings and in the trees with trees growing through the equipment and vehicles. During the sale Elaine’s family heard people saying: “This wasn’t a farm sale but a walk through history.”
Bernie continued to live at Majestic Bluffs for the next 10 years and 4 months between assisted living and Sister James Nursing Home. Bernie had a surgical problem and was admitted to Avera Sacred Heart Hospital on Wednesday, September 16th. He suddenly took a turn for the worst on Thursday; passed on peacefully in his sleep Monday noon, September 21st having attained the age of 91 years 8 months and 8 days.
Bernie’s is survived by his nephew, Eugene Kvasnicka, Yankton South Dakota and his niece, Elaine Kvasnicka Soukup (Pat), great nephews David Kvasnicka, Pocatello Idaho; John (Amy) Soukup, Glendale AZ; Paul Soukup, Winona MN; a great niece, Laurie Kvasnicka Struchen (Brett), Chubbic, Idaho; 3 great, great nephews; 1 great, great niece, 1 great, great nephew, 2nd Cousins: Ron (Janet) Wagner; Gene (Laura) Wagner; Reta (Roger) Ridgeway; Kris (Mike) Haller and 3rd cousins.
Bernie was preceded in death by his parents, Maurice & Amelia; an infant brother; brothers Clarence and Emil, sisters Lorraine and Evelyn Wagner Kvasnicka and brother-in-law Frank P Kvasnicka, Jr., and nephew Charlie Kvasnicka, Pocatello Idaho.
A very Special Thank You to the staff of Sister James’ Country Neighborhood for the blessings of your wonderful care, compassion and friendship you gave Bernie these past few years while Bernie was a resident of the Country Neighborhood. Our Father sends blessings of Special Angels we call Nurses! They are Natalia Chipman, Kathy Hansen, Jim Williams, Traci Cwach, Alecia Yaggie, Rose Conlin, Mary Fiedler and Dietary Manger Dave Goolsby along with the rest of the staff. I know Bernie enjoyed everyone of you with his stories, jokes and the friendships he made with all of you and..his cantankerous ways. No words can explain the gratitude and thankfulness the family feels toward all of you angels. You truly are blessings from Our Father!
It ain’t over until it’s over! Yogi Bara – Bernie’s Idol